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Moms Talk: Can You Raise a Gender-Free Baby?

Story about a family in Canada went viral about raising their baby as gender-free. Is it possible?

This week, it's not just the Mommy blogs and sites that are all huffing and puffing. This story spread everywhere. What exactly could get so many people riled up, for either side of the debate?

The Toronto Star published a story about a family with three young children. The two oldest are boys. The third is 4-5 months old and only about 6 people in the world know his/her gender. The family is aiming to raise this one as gender-free.

From the Star...

"When Storm was born, the couple sent an email to friends and family: “We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now — a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime (a more progressive place? ...).”"

Is something like this even possible?  In a world where traditional gender stereotypes are still prevalent, can a child grow up to be neither and be accepted by his/her peers?

When stories like this arise, more often than not, I wonder if the parents have really thought this through for the kid.  Do they think about the long-term effects, positive or negative, this might really have? Are they acting on their ideals regardless of any negativity the child might suffer in the future? 

Where does a parent draw the line between traditional parenting and parenting for your ideals, whatever the circumstances might be? Without "outside-the-box" thinkers, we wouldn't be a very evolved society.

But, is it our job as parents to use our children to spark movements of our ideals or is it our job to use ourselves as the spark and not bring the kids into it?

It's a tricky line to balance upon. I myself don't know the answer, but like everyone else, I sure have my opinions on it. Which I'm sure you'll read about in the comments. 

Jennifer Moore June 08, 2011 at 09:58 PM
Do these parents just hope to get a bunch of gasps, awes, and "whaaaaats?" What is wrong with a naturally specified gender? Did I miss something? We do not get to choose gender as the parents want to suggest. And anatomically a person's gender is determined in the early weeks of gestation. Until 18 and with a corrective knife and hopefully lots of heavy drugs to quell the pain, there is not a darn thing we can do about the anatomy nature has given us. If these parents, or others, want children who are loved for who ever they are emotionally, then that is another story and will be accomplished with an honest examination of gender and what gender means. We will not reach a more progressive understanding of self without honesty. To be blind is ignorant. These parents, while they may have their child's best interest at heart, are not thinking this through. Gender should be celebrated, not closeted. Imagine if these parents tried to quiet the child's race, ethnicity, name, religion, family history, language, etc? If they are worried about gendertyping there are many more productive --not too mention more simple -- and less harmful ways to go about it than withholding a valuable and valid part of a person's identity.
Fresh June 09, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Hi Jennifer, I totally understand your response, that's part of the issue. You see, sex and gender are not the same thing. If you force a female bodied person into a feminine role, you are not allowing her to be natural with her selection of her gender; masculine or feminine or any combination of those. You've shut her out of that decision and if for some reason it doesn't fit, she may struggle the rest of her life finding or accepting her true gender expression. Sorry I don't have the link right now; there is a copy if an article written in society pages in the 1920s that states that "it is no longer appropriat for boys to wear pink..." it's a great example of not only shows us how arbitrary our gender rules are it's a reminder that nature made us to live full into ourselves. I personally don't think it's okay to Box people. There are tons of resources for schools and adults on this topic. I personally have spoken to thousands of folks who are opening to the possibility that the gender binary needs to be expanded to fit 'ALL' of us. When we begin focusing on character and heart, we will serve our children and our societies better, this includes respecting gender preferences.
Christopher June 10, 2011 at 07:38 PM
I find the writers comment reagarding, and I quote, "Without "outside-the-box" thinkers, we wouldn't be a very evolved society" quite silly. People...it's either you a girl or boy....period.

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